Saturday, May 22, 2010

The NZ Post Children's Book Awards

It was a wonderful occasion.

Go here to read Fifi Colston's account

Congratualations to the winners and especially to Kyle and Rachel

Below is theJudges’ Comments on Banquo's Son: great praise indeed:

When Banquo is murdered in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he calls to his son Fleance to seek revenge. T.K. Roxborogh ensures he does in her cleverly constructed sequel, where vengeance, power struggles, mysteries, love and betrayal all merge tantalisingly into a page-turning blockbuster, the first of a planned trilogy. Her novel interpretation of Banquo’s brief cry to his young son, coupled with the three witches’ prophecy that sons of Banquo would rule Scotland, is the basis for this dramatic answer to the question: What happened to Banquo’s son?

Fleance is a very likeable character – honest, humble, with a strong sense of fair play, but he’s plagued by nightmares of his past and visions of his father’s ghost. Having kept his real identity a secret from the family who have looked after him for 10 years, now that he is 21 he feels he must return to Scotland and discover the answers.

Roxborogh’s book remains faithful to Shakespeare’s play, particularly to the prophecy, which she cleverly twists into her own plot and reveals in a brilliant climax. She uses contemporary language in the text, which will appeal to young adult readers, but her characters’ direct speech is Elizabethan English has Shakespeare wrote. The scene is well set, giving the reader a fascinating view of Scottish court life as well as learning how poor people fared, making this novel especially useful for students studying Macbeth.

The striking front cover features a handsome, brooding young man who will appeal particularly to young women (and older ones!). The addition of a map and family trees are very helpful in navigation these treacherous Highlands.

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